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January 29, 2015 at 9:54am

Photos: Gigantic night at Pint Defiance in Tacoma

Humans and dogs enjoyed Gigantic Brewing Company Night at Pint Defiance in Tacoma Jan. 28. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Years and years and years from now, when people from the future or aliens or whatever are sifting through the artifacts of our culture, will they ever, ever find anything as cool as this: A Gigantic brewery. OK, it's actually called Gigantic Brewing Company, and, well, gigantic is the opposite  of what founders Ben Love and Van Havig have in mind for the Portland, Oregon brewery. The vow to stay small, focus on brewing exceptional beer rather than mass produce. Veterans of the Oregon brewing community (Love has brewed for 10 years, Havig for 20), the two concentrate on two things: a really freakin delicious IPA and three-month run seasonals, including their Saboteur Baltic Porter, Ginormous Imperial IPA and 2014 MASSIVE! BarleyWine. The Porter is exceptional, with a rich chocolate and roasted taste finishing with a smooth alcoholic warmth. Heavily hopped, the delicious MASSIVE! uses only British Halcyon pale malt, which is boiled for eight hours, giving the beer a deep ruby color and rich malt flavor.

Today, Gigantic Brewing releases its Catch 23 Experimental Pale Ale made with the experimental 527 hop. You'll catch tropical mango hoppiness with every sip. Mick Wilcox, brand manager with Click Wholesale Distributing, says the Catch 23 is the best pale ale he's tasted in a long time.

Ben Love went big last night at Pint Defiance Specialty Beers and Taproom, pouring his beers and chatting up his principles. The night was so huge my neck hurts today. ...

December 12, 2014 at 8:57am

Words & Photos: Winter Beer-nanza at Pint Defiance

Pint Defiance Assistant Manager R.J. Adler and co-owner Barry Watson go street during the Winter Beer-nanza Dec. 11. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

In the olden days (a.k.a. my childhood), ugly holiday sweaters were something worn once to placate the family, then hung in the back of a closet or tossed. Fortunately, irony is not a wasteful phenomenon, and allows us to laugh at the hideous things we would have otherwise forgotten or thrown away. Last night, Pint Defiance Specialty Beers & Taproom celebrated the ugly sweater with beer and well, more beer, at its annual Winter Beer-nanza. Many raided the closets of '80s survivors; one gentleman stole decorations from his wife's front door holiday display and pinned them on a red sweater.

The staff, all dressed in holiday ugliness, poured the specialty beers on tap for the night: the coveted Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2014), plus Black Raven Festivus Holiday Ale, Lost Abbey Merry Taj IPA, Bale Breaker High Camp Winter Warmer, pFriem Belgian Christmas Ale, Heathen Reindeer Tears Barrel-Aged Barleywine and Atlas Spiced Pear Cider. Even though Pint Defiance owners Barry and Renee Watson waited well into the party to tap the expensive Goose Island keg, it was the first to blow. Its demise drew loud cheers from the packed-in crowd.

In addition to the big beers, Pint Defiance hosted a Christmas cookie potluck and a giant raffle of beer schwag collected over the course of the year.

It was a fun night of knocking down delicious beers, munching on cookies and laughing all the way.

SEE ALSO

The story behind Pint Defiance

October 19, 2014 at 1:16pm

Words & Photos: South Sound IPA Festival in Tacoma

Union Station in Tacoma filled up with beer drinkers over two sessions during the South Sound IPA Festival Oct. 18. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Cheers to the South Sound IPA Festival. The India Pale Ale-centric festival drew approximately 900 beer fans, over an afternoon and evening session, for a casual, cheerful gathering at Tacoma's Union Station Oct. 18. The event featured some of the finest craft-brewed beers in Washington state with an emphasis on fresh hop beers, strong ales and, of course, IPAs.

Things ran smoothly from the gate to the flow to downstairs tiny concession area. Attendees were in good spirits. Volunteers stayed busy and polite. Homeland Security watched quietly. Everything worked well, especially for Union Station's first beer festival.

Organized by the Washington Beer Commission, the South Sound IPA Festival celebrated the finest IPAs in the state. I went in with my own list of beer to hunt down, but it was more enjoyable to simply go with the flow from booth to booth, chatting with brewery reps and beer drinkers along the way (cheers to beer drinkers Bryan Johnson, Kyle Price and Chris Martin for allowing me to ride).

The crowd of people hoping to try sips of Bale Breaker Brewing's beers generated the longest line of the day, but the wait was short and casual for most booths, although tokens were definitely monitored than most beer festivals. Pacific Northwest IPAs, fresh hop ales, Northwest style CDAs and Imperial Reds seemed to dominate the menu, with a few monsters such as Narrows Brewing's Channary Imperial Red, Rainy Daze Brewing's Hypocrite Double IPA, Wingman Brewers' Skunky Monkey Imperial IPA, Silver City Brewery's Whoop Pass Double IPA and Valholl Brewing's Monstrosity Triple IPA (11.2 percent ABV).

I went back for seconds for several beers. No-Li Brewhouse's Barrel Aged Jet Star Imperial IPA was aged eight months in a second-use Tritcale Whiskey barrel from Dry Fly Distillery. The aging on 50 percent rye and 50 percent wheat whiskey oak increased the depth of sweetness on this double IPA, creating more of a barleywine. Elysian Brewing's totally nebular hop showcase Space Dust IPA was out of this world.  Anacortes Brewery's Fresh Hop Pale Ale and Blue Lightning Brewery's Just The Tip ISA were my time-out beers. I enjoyed a zesty sample of Harmon Brewing Co.'s Point Defiance IPA served through one of their customized Randall filters filled with lime, lemon, orange and Amarillo hops. It was one of the tastiest IPAs of the day.

Blue Lightning Brew owner Michael "Mad Mike" Miller and CFO Brian Peterson won best conversation, in my mind. Their Woodinville brewery grew from a Groupon deal brewery class they took together. Fun story. Fun guys.

Also an enjoyable chat came from the lively lads from Seattle Central District brewery Standard Brewing who just opened this past summer. Their Imperial IPA with Simcoe and Centennial hops was all booze and hop and delicious.

All eight South Sound microbreweries made their marks with a variety of unique beers. Wingman Brewers' tasty Rosemary's Baby Rosemary IPA with Citra, Simcoe, Centennial and Rosemary won plenty of the fans. 7 Seas Brewing steered with the largest cargo of beers, including a sixth not on the docket - their 100 percent wet hop ale Hop Prophet. Of course, dedicated fans of Dick's beer made return trips for their new Midnight Ride Black IPA, a robust, Northwest-style CDA bursting with Cascade and Centennial hops, and balanced with a rich dark malt profile. Think rich, dark and malty like a porter with a hop profile. Drink it Saturday, Oct. 25 during the Centralia brewery's 20th anniversary party.

October 4, 2014 at 10:11am

Words & Photos: Oktoberfest Northwest at Washington State Fairgrounds

I know, I know. But really, every angle was sort of perfect. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Oktoberfest Northwest is a hilarious celebration of dirndls and German shepherd-sized beer mugs, and nothing you can ever do can prepare you for the onslaught of Bavarian kitsch. As it should be. As is the whole point, really. Nobody at the Washington State Fairgrounds yesterday really cared that the original Oktoberfest in 1810 celebrated the wedding of a crown prince and a princess, but we should at least thank them for making their wedding into a multi-day festival for us commoners. We should toast the royal couple for allowing us to watch the baseball playoffs in lederhosen, to play beer pong in Alpin hats, to pose for photos with a gnome and his wife, to eat delicious fried pork from Gutes Essen Haus (so yum!), to wearing funny T-shirts and eat fudge (yes, that too!).

I get how easy it is to bash this bash held in a giant building in Puyallup, how ripe is the target, how irresistible to poke fun at polka, absurd hammering of nails into stumps, the zany obstacle course just to grab a beer, a 6-foot-2 beauty posing for snapshots and the cabbage rolls and the wiener dog races and Stein Run and whatever the hell else. Oktoberfest Northwest begs to be satirized, ridiculed, taunted from afar by the naysayers who've never been. It's easy. Also, pointless.

Because there's a terrific irony about denouncing Oktoberfest Northwest with anything resembling cultural or moral authority: the more you mock it, the dumber you look. And the better the oompah band sounds.

See, there is only one overarching, indisputable truth about Oktoberfest Northwest: You have to see it for yourself. You just have to go. But, read this first.

OKTOBERFEST NORTHWEST, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Washington State Fair and Events Center, Ninth and Meridian, Puyallup, $10 Saturday, $5 Sunday, oktoberfestnw.com

Hammerschlagen. Because not everything has to be subtle.

Or serious.

Or lonely.

Not sure. But sort of delicate and beautiful.

A simply irresistible photo.

Because every once in awhile, you just want to throw a bean bag into a hole.

More holes.

She laughed.

She posed.

Manuela Horn lit up Oktoberfest Northwest.

And that's not just the Hacker-Pschorr Weiss talking. Mostly. Manuela Horn, the most awesome human at the beer festival.

Doug and Lynn Mackey were there and in a land faraway, which could be a shot of the Tetons, really.

Honey, let me build us a weird giant chair and I'll guarantee you crazy people will climb up into it, K?

Too much Doug Mackey?

Is this better? Yes!

Bruno's European Restaurant, just keepin' it real, yo.

Gutes Essen Haus' pork schnitzel plate is the schnitzel.

Good times and signs at the Gutes Essen Haus.

This. This is pretty much describes the music I heard yesterday at Oktoberfest Northwest. REO Speedwagon? Skrillex? Iron Butterfly? Not really.

Screw your fancy million-dollar, light show. When you have "real" Oktoberfest style, this is how you roll.

These are your parents on Warsteiner Dunkel.

He or she would appear every so often and lead a dance, and it might look silly and strange, but it was actually quite beautiful, and I would like to hereby thank him, whoever he or she is.

Classic!

What happens after you drink a giant stein of Warsteiner Oktoberfest on stage.

Deer head? Check.

You didn't expect a dude in a yellow security jacket to bring in the ceremonial firkin, did you?

And the firkin parade was launched.

Of course Manuela Horn lead the firkin parade.

He was in the parade.

So were these folks.

Go ahead, just walk on by like this was the most normal thing you'll see all day, which it probably was.

After the tapping of the firkin, the only and most violent event at Oktoberfest Northwest. The moment when all the happy goodness of the event gets a bit too much, and the opportunity for free beer brings out the evil.

Beer Pong, not exactly anywhere near as badass as, say, a stein-holding contest. But who cares? This is, like, new school silly Oktoberfest.

... And a chance to bond over competition.

The last scene I saw headed out the door. Lovely, really.

LINK: More 2014 Oktoberfest events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 3, 2014 at 1:31pm

Words & Photos: Harmon Brewing's 2014 Brewmaster's Dinner

Harmon Brewing's brewer and production manager Bill Lundeen kicked off the 16th annual Harmon Brewmaster's Dinner with a jig. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

One of the best things about this time of year is all of the Oktoberfest-centric dinners. Last night, the Harmon Brewery & Eatery held just such a dinner. It was a fun night; the jig Harmon brewer/production manager Bill Lundeen performed next to co-owner Pat Nagle (above) confirms the statement.

I sat next to Harmon co-owner Carole Ford and Harmon Brewing Director of Brewery Operations Jesse Holder most of the night. Discussion of beer, future releases, European adventures and best Chinese food locales filled the gaps when utensils and glassware didn't hide our mouths. Harmon's 5 Mile Drive IPA will eventually replace the flagship Point Defiance IPA, adding citrus Zythos hops to the original formula as well as a full percentage point increase in alcohol by volume to 7.2. It has a big hoppy flavor. Harmon is also on the verge of releasing several sours - including a sour saison, sour IPA - a strong ale paying homage to former Parkway Tavern manager John O'Gara who passed this spring, a barleywine, barrel-aged saison and a pumpkin spice blonde, which released today.

For the first course, we received a pretzel basket with beer cheese and mustard. It was paired with Harmon Brewing recently released Fall Ball Red, an Imperial Red Ale with an extra helping of Munich malt to give it a rich body. The night began at 7.8 percent ABV thank you very much.

For the salad course, the kitchen served an outstanding celery, radish and pear with Gorgonzola. Incredibly refreshing, the salad paired well with Harmon's session Creamsicle Pale Ale. The Madagascar Vanilla Beans flavor pops.

I'll be dreaming about the wild mushroom crostini for the next few days. The richly flavored mushrooms tempt me to grab the paired 5 Mile Drive IPA and head toward the Five Mile Drive at Point Defiance Park in search for the little buggers.

The main course came in three acts - bratwurst, beer-braised red cabbage and an absolutely delicious German potato salad created by Hilde Ford. Harmon's six malt, four hops Black Tartan CDA sat at the end of the long plate. This brew looks like a stout but drinks like a hoppy IPA.

And for dessert: a scoop of vanilla ice cream floated in a sea of Super Samurai Barleywine Ale to make an ice cream float. Harmon's single Sorachi Ace hop barleywine overpowered the ice cream. I spooned the 11 percent ABV beer as if it was going to evaporate.

Harmon's Oktoberfest celebrations continue tonight at the Harmon Brewery & Eatery and Harmon Tap Room. It's "Bring Your Own Mug Night" at the downtown Tacoma Harmon. Have your stein filled for the same price as a 16-ounce pint. Harmon caps it at 24-ounces. In Tacoma's Stadium District, the Tap Room will have Jagermeister drink specials, a cooking with beer class and 99 biodegradable balloons released into the sky at 7 p.m. while "99 Luftballoons" by Nena screams from speakers. Seriously.

HARMON BREWERY & EATERY, 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2739

HARMON TAP ROOM, 204 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2725

August 9, 2014 at 1:57pm

Beers On Broadway: Brew Five Three live in Tacoma

Full glass pints are waiting for you to fill with beer on Broadway in downtown Tacoma until 8:30 p.m. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Summary

A beer festival is held on Broadway in downtown Tacoma Saturday, Aug. 9. For full details, click here.

Characters

  • Emcee
  • Director Aaron Stevens
  • Brewers
  • Ciderists
  • Mobile Food Trucks Employees
  • Stephanie Anne Johnson
  • The West Coast Women's Blues Revue
  • The Mark Riley Trio
  • Junkyard Jane
  • Beer Drinkers

Setting

Washington state breweries in booths line Broadway between Ninth and 11th in downtown Tacoma. A blue music stage sits above in the park next to Theatre on the Square.

SCRIPT

SFX:

Clinking glass noises, band sound check

EMCEE:
(Who could, if desired, be a voice over the speaker system for the whole performance.) Step right up, step right up. This way to the fabulous Brew Five Three. Come one, come all, and drink the most amazing beers in the universe. So step this way. And let the show begin!

SFX:

Drum roll

EMCEE (Singing):

Welcome back my friends to the lines that never ends /
We're so glad you could attend /
Come outside! Come outside!
There in a glass is a real beer from grass /
Be careful as you pass /
Move along! Move along!

Come outside, the show is about to start /
Guaranteed to blow your head apart.
Rest assured you'll get your money's worth /
The greatest show in Two, Five and Three.
You've got to see the show; it's a dynamo.
You've got to see the show' it's rock and ... blueso (had to make it rhyme). ...

EMCEE:

Ladeeeeez and G-E-N-T-L-E-M-E-N, and all older than 21. Welcome to the fabulous Brew Five Three! Today, here on Broadway, right before your very eyes, a fabulous array of acts has been assembled for your delight and delectation. Jest with jaunty Washington state brewers ... cry with our cavorting ciderists ... marvel at the magnificent moveable fests ... give a bravo to our blues musicians ... and hold your breath because you're about to taste the best beers in all the land. All this and more before the clock strike 9.

But to start, let's give a big round of applause to the Broadway Center Executive Director David Fischer and his crew for hosting the second annual Brew Five Three. You'll find Fischer checking people in.

SFX:

Applause

SFX:
Drum roll

EMCEE:

1:30 p.m.: I tell you, I've had so many face-lifts, they finally lifted it right off my body! It's true; it's true! Oh, oh, oh! Let's take a look who's strolling the gray pavement and what they are wearing. ...

John and Alyssa are wearing Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. and Pint Defiance, respectively.

Gary is wearing a straw hat with many brewery pins.

Tim is wearing a bear deer beer T-shirt.

Rick is wearing a T-shirt he found on beer.woot.com.

In case you're wondering, today I'm wearing Target, H&M and some black socks my ex-girlfriend left at my house.

These two guys were laughing so much I don't know who they are or what they are wearing.

Apparently there's a team that makes Rick drink.

Northwest "swampabilly" blues band is performing original music and covers, such as Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On."

Rest easy, Brew Five Three crowd: This man is here to make sure no one runs.

Engine House No. 9 bartender Todd McLaughlin is singing about E9's Nameless #25 IPA with Citra, Centennial, Mosaic and Simcoe hops to the tune of U2's "Where the Street Have No Name." It's drawing a crowd, mostly because the IPA is freakin' hoppy delicious.

2:55 p.m.: The first pint glass breaks. The crowd erupts in cheers.

3 p.m.: It's announced over the Broadway Center's walkie talkie communication system that Tacoma Craft Beer Festival and Washington Brewers Festival tokens are being passed off as Brew Five Three tokens. TOKEN DEFCON is now 2.

EMCEE:

Thank you Broadway Center Instagram for all the delicious posts from the Brew Five Three beer festival. Gazing at Broadway Center Marketing Coordinator Mariesa Bus' Instagram posts, I can tell she bases much of her work on Renaissance imagery and brings classical aplomb to her posts.

Lady A of the West Coast Women & Blues Band has just popped into the crowd.

The chemistry between Nat Woodsmith and Elise Woodsmith at the Puyallup River Brewing Co. booth is engaging, although the sometimes breakneck pace at which their extended pours have been directed runs roughshod over punch lines and transitional moments. Nat, in particular, rolls equal parts boyish bounciness and comic mania into his pours, especially his tasty Bourbon Barrel-aged 3 IPA, which rings in at 11 percent ABV. It's all good; they're head brewer and wife.

4:30 p.m.: The comedy portion of Brew Five Three hit the pavement outside the Pantages Theater.

Colin Harvin of 7 Seas Brewing has been performing comedy at beer festivals all summer. He's quick. Clearly, his routines from the 7 Seas' booths showcase that. Although he had moments of focusing on the negative things in his life (which is still always funny), he hits topics such as politics and potholes in Tacoma. He pulls from the world, and he knows what he is talking about. He is amazing and sharp and can work with anything you throw at him, even while pouring the 7 Seas' Depth Finder IRA - a inspired NW style ale that combines the hop profile of an IPA (Columbus, Palisade and Simcoe) with the malt character of a lusciously, smooth Amber ale. Harvin is not joking when he says the IRA has a resinous, bitter finish.

Over at the Amnesia Brewing booth, Brew Five Three Director Aaron Stevens, who believes he broke his foot navigating stairs last night, joined in on a live script reading of the 2006 film Beerfest, about two brothers who travel to Germany for Oktoberfest, only to stumble upon a secret, centuries-old competition described as a Fight Club with beer games. The folks gathered around the Amnesia Brewing booth compared the reading to Amy Schumer's comedy, although the crowd was drinking plenty of delicious Amnesia Trail Hazer Ale, a medium body, floral dry hopped version of its popular Dusty Trail Pale Ale.

5:45 p.m.: The first jumper of the day climbed over the fence at the south end of the festival at 11th Street right into the arms of several volunteers. Without a wrist band and tokens, the jumper felt stupid and left unescorted.

The Mark Riley Trio is pulling people off the beer trail and up onto the concert arena. A guitar craftsman and veteran of such bands as Snake Oil, Little Bill & The Bluenotes and The Mark Whitman Band, Riley and crew are playing blistering blues.

Odd Otter Brewing Co. in downtown Tacoma, a brewery schedule to open within a month, is pouring its Coconut Chai Ale, one of five Otter beers at the Brew Five Three. It's like drinking a porter on a tropical beach not engulfed in a tropical storm, even though the staff clearly would be fun at a beach bar. Bravo!

SFX:

Drum roll (sustained quietly during the following) - The talk of Brew Five Three is Brickyard Brewing's Southwestern Hatch Green Chili Blonde Ale. The Hatch Green Chili peppers are from New Mexico, providing a subtle heat, making this beer perfect for a pizza. It's amazing, and at 5.2 percent ABV, so drinkable.

EMCEE:

It's intermission, ladeeez and gennelmen. Ice Cream Social and beer will be on sale during the interval, and then hurry back to your seats as we bring you further marvels in the Brew Five Three (read: blogger needs a drink).

7 p.m.: Intermission was shattered with the news the sixth pint glass was dropped on Broadway. Once again, cheers erupted.

Intermission is back on. Here's a shot of the Brew Five Three crowd to hold you over until Stephanie Anne Johnson takes the stage. Can you spot the Top Rung Brewing Company founders? Hint: They're in the middle of the shot.

In the late-1980s, Anthrax was part of an MTV contest wherein they would wreak havoc on the winner's home. A few years later, the legendary metal band reprised their role as house destroyers on Married with Children, when Bud Bundy wins dinner and a concert with the band. At best, it was pointless. Guest appearances can go wrong, unless you're Randi Rodgers of The Swiss Restaurant and Pub. Rodgers had the crowd in her palm today guest pulling the taps at the Seattle Cider Co. booth at Brew Five Three.

Stephanie Anne Johnson and her band are rocking the Brew Five Three. In fact people are (gasp) putting down the pint glasses and dancing.

The dude with the Wingman Brewers T-Shirt dancing in the middle of the dance floor before Stephanie Anne Johnson inspired us to end the night with a full pint of Wingman's IPA.

EMCEE:

That's the end of the show! That's the end of the show! Wow, it's been a quick but also very long seven hours. Thanks for spending them with us. End of the shooooooooow!

August 6, 2014 at 3:48pm

Photos: The Valley Pub by the Tacoma Dome re-opened today

The Valley Pub in Tacoma has re-opened as of Wednesday, Aug. 6. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

Once upon a time two scruffs - John Xitco and Jeff Paradise of Tacoma's X Group restaurants - had a few beers with two beards - Justin and Robbie Peterson of The Eleven Eleven on Hilltop Tacoma. The result was the new and improved Valley Pub, which re-opened at 3 p.m. today at 1206 Puyallup Ave., close to the Tacoma Dome.

I never dreamed of such a merger, but it makes complete sense. The creative minds behind X Group's Asado steakhouse, Masa modern Mexican fare, Choripan at the Museum of Glass and the historic Engine House No. 9 restaurant matched with the Peterson brothers, who in addition to being craftsmen, grew up watching their dad, Bob Hill, with Gayl Bertagni and Jack McQuade, take The Swiss Restaurant and Pub from a mess to success. The X Group and Petersons bleed Tacoma. Their styles aren't that different. Yet, they understand different markets. Combined ... wow.

Weekly Volcano scribe Jackie Fender chatted with Xitco two months ago regarding the new venture, in which he discussed taxidermy on the walls, 12 draft handles, something called the "Pillars of Pennies," booze on the shelves and pub grub similar to the Eleven Eleven.

Today, it's all there, and more, including outdoor seating with an outdoor dart board. Good to see Bandito Betty behind the bar training folks. There's a limited menu for now.

Here are a few photos we snapped during The Valley Pub's first half-hour of business.

>>> Jeff Paradise, Justin Peterson and Robbie Peterson are proud owners of The Valley in Tacoma. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

>>> Here are the first customers at the new Valley Pub. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

>>> Eric Willard, sales and distribution head honcho with Two Beers Brewery and Seattle Cider Company shares a beer with Garrett Davis, sales manager with PBR, at The Valley Pub in Tacoma. Photo credit: Kate Swarner

May 26, 2014 at 7:37am

Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with R.J. Adler of Pint Defiance in Fircrest

R.J. Adler, assistant manager at Pint Defiance, a craft and specialty beer store and taproom on the edge of Fircrest. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet R.J. Adler.

Server Banner Boy, May 26-June 1, 2014

R.J. Adler

Assistant manager, bartender, server

Pint Defiance, a craft and specialty beer store and taproom on the edge of Fircrest

Why do you serve?

"I serve for the love of great craft beer. This answer is complete cheese, but I mean it."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"Oof, I have to pick just one? Sean at the Parkway seems to have a preternatural sense for knowing what I want before I do."

What are you most proud to serve?

"Anything local. I love being able to say, 'Here, a guy I know made this.'"

What's your current drink of choice?

Berliner Weisse

Favorite movie?

"No Country for Old Men"

What don't you serve?

"I try not to get snobbish about beer but you won't find me cracking any 'cold-activated' cans, if you catch my drift.

What's on your radar at Pint Defiance?

We always have awesome events on our calendar - Deschutes Brewer's Night on June 11, a sour beer night on June 25. I'm also looking forward to all the summer seasonal releases that are hitting our shelves. I'll be trying them all ... ya know ... for research.

LINK: Meet last week's Served Banner Girl.

May 19, 2014 at 1:45pm

Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with Rose Peterson of 1022 South J in Tacoma

Rose Peterson, general manager at 1022 South J in Tacoma. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Welcome to Served in the South Sound - the Weekly Volcano's new food and drink blog. This blog will continue to host our thoughts on the South Sound food and drink scene, but now with fewer Howitzers. Military news and event coverage, as well as South Sound music, arts and wackiness will remain on our Walkie Talkie blog. On our new blog, we'll serve up a feedbag of fresh chow daily, with local restaurant news, the New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top. We've moved all the New Beer Column and Mac and Cheese Madness posts to this blog. The food and drink posts from 2006 through last Friday will remain on Walkie Talkie.

Every week we'll swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Rose Peterson.

Server Banner Girl, May 19-25, 2014

Rose Peterson

General manager, bartender and server

1022 South J, a craft cocktail lounge and locally-source food, 1022 South J on Tacoma's Hilltop

Why do you serve?

"I started in the bar business as a part-time job for extra cash. I soon found out I didn't want to work behind a desk. I enjoy the conversations I have with strangers, as well as my regulars."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"Right now, I'm digging Will over at Asado."

What are you most proud to serve?

"The Hazelnut Old Fashioned"

What's your current drink of choice?

"I'll pour a Bastille Whiskey at home, but I'm also on the cider wagon right now."

Favorite movie?

"Die Hard, in fact all of the Die Hard flicks are my favorites."

What don't you serve?

"I don't have anything blue."

What's on your radar at 1022 South J?

"Summer nights on our kickass patio. Bring on the warm weather!"

May 12, 2014 at 11:16am

Gig Harbor Beer Festival 2014 recap

Peace, indeed. The third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival was a righteous, fun day of beer drinking. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

They called out to ye faithful, and all ye faithful answered. Saturday, at the third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival, I watched the gigantic beer garden in the middle of the posh Uptown Gig Harbor retail hub slowly but surely fill up with the most faithful of beer-goers. Let me assure you, shelling out $25 for a six-hour session of beer sampling was absolutely worth it, especially when many of these beers had been just released, or were limited-edition, or were 9 percent ABV and up.

Around 20 breweries made an appearance at the Fest, manning tables in a giant circle around the perimeter. Tastes ranged from a piney Cascadian Dark Ale from 7 Seas Brewery, to a big hop bomb Belgian IPA from Dick's Brewing, a citrusy Flying Monkey Dogfight Pale Ale from American Brewing, German-style Kolsch Ale from Bainbridge Island Brewing and a refreshing Zythos Single Hop from Wingman Brewers, which was perfect beneath the warm sun.

There were also things such as the RAM Big Horn Brewery's Maibock, which brewmaster Bethany Carlsen trumpeted as "a beer that will sneak up on you." It was indeed rich, with a big kick and altogether delicious.

Another big beer was the Damnedeleven from Slippery Pig Brewery out of Poulsbo. Ringing in at 11 percent ABV, this tasty, imperial brew was loaded with 30 pounds of dandelion.

A steady stream lined up before Northwest Brewing's Mango Weizen - and with good reason. This cheery American/Bavarian Hef had the perfect amount of fruit.

The capacity crowd voted for its favorite beer at the Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Silverdale's Rainy Daze Brewing Co.'s Mind Funk walked away with the award. The roasted aroma Oatmeal Pale Stout had a subtle layer of coffee from Sunrise Coffee in Port Townsend. Worthy.

Festival producer John Fosberg can chalk up another success. Thanks to a sunny day, awesome music by Aisle of View and Perry Acker, delicious beer and a very happy, fun crowd, the fourth annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival will be a no-brainer.

LINK: More photos from the third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival

About this blog

Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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Recent Comments

Ted Smith said:

Thank you for the list of restaurants to try out. I will have to try their Mac and Cheese....

about Tournament of Mac and Cheese: It's Cheesy 16 time!

tastymakan said:

I like your post on Bakery restaurants I like ...

about Mac and Cheese Madness: The Homestead Restaurant and Bakery

Angela Whitten said:

Any Spring beers? www.myharmonyphotography.com

about Cheers to Winter Beers in Puyallup

Web Developers Delhi said:

Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading...

about Eat This Now: Radiator Whiskey Tots

Why Adam? said:

Why Adam? loves the Volcano and Northwest Military! We are honored to be a part of the local...

about Why Adam? Why Odd Otter beer? Here's why: rally behind Team Knowing Stuff